Co-Parenting Crisis: My Ex Is Dating My Child’s Classmate’s Mom

Love, Heartbreak

There's nothing worse than hearing "Daddy is dating Megan’s mom".

No matter who you are, you dread it when you find out your ex is with someone else. It doesn’t even matter the reason why you are not together anymore, you still have that little tiny bit of jealously, anger, (insert whatever emotion in here you want). But I can tell you this:

There's nothing worse than hearing "Daddy is dating Megan’s* mom".

But I did hear those words, in stereo, as my twin daughters let me know as soon as they knew. Numerous scenarios went through my head, such as "What if it gets serious?", "Why are the kids involved so soon if it isn’t serious?", "Why the hell didn’t he tell ME?"

Now, of course who he dates really isn’t any of my business as I don't exactly tell him who I'm dating — but I rarely introduce our children to them. However, our children go to a very small religious school; this is not something to be taken lightly. So I casually mentioned that it was nice their dad had a grown-up he could spend time with and left it at that. Of course, it could not be left at that when one night during dinner with another family after church my daughter blurted out, "Daddy’s dating Megan’s mom so it’s like were pretend sisters."

Yes, that's exactly what I want my friends to know.

Of course, my friends knew who she was as their daughters were in my daughters’ class, too. So they asked me how I felt about it. Now, really, what are you supposed to say here? Is there a good answer? I really wanted to say "Is she completely stupid for wanting to date him? Doesn’t she know there's a reason we're divorced?" But no, you have to smile, be polite, do what a "good" co-parent would do and say "I think it’s great." All while throwing up a little in my mouth.

The next time I saw my ex, I asked him about it and told him that he may want to keep it a little quieter as I would hate for things to go bad and have there be issues between the girls at school. He looked at me like I was crazy.

Honestly, that was only one of the "better" scenarios I could think of, I can’t tell you the amount of awful ones including having to share my daughters with a woman I knew from school. I wasn’t a big fan of her already and to have to pretend to be nice and pleasant awhile knowing my children were at her house would honestly be too much for me.

However, I had to remember that what he chooses to do with his life is his own doing and whatever was going to happen would happen.

All I could hope for was that she would realize that there were consequences if our daughters didn’t get along and things rolled over into school.

Thankfully, he and she kept things causal and nothing really serious ever came out of it. The girls are happy as friends and nothing more — and I'm extremely grateful for that. Each time I see her, I smile pleasantly and thank my lucky stars that I am not connected to her any more than through school. After all, there are only so many times you can pretend to be the "good" co-parent.

*not her real name


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This article was originally published at Unomum. Reprinted with permission from the author.

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